Mariyah Saifuddin a finalist in Pitch Competition at Women’s Business Conference

Innovative Solution Partners co-founder and CEO Mariyah Saifuddin was one of four finalists to compete Wednesday in the WEPitch Competition at the annual conference of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.

“Are you maximizing every one of your corporate dollars?” Saifuddin led off as she took the stage for her 2-minute pitch. She went on to point out that despite the volatile economy, “85 percent of CEOs intend to increase technology spend to drive business.”

“It was fun to participate in the pitch competition because it allowed me to synthesize in 2 minutes what we do, day in and day out, for our clients,” Saifuddin said after she and three other finalists squared off in front of a crowd of 575  attendees at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. 

“Let’s be clear:  There’s a lot of complexity to data and what you can do with it,” she said. But its importance to a business? That’s really pretty simple. Everyone needs to have a handle on their data.”

The finalists were culled by a panel of judges from 15 semifinalists who presented on Tuesday, the first day of the annual conference, which was held in person for the first time in three years, bringing together certified women-owned businesses, suppliers and diversity professionals from around the country. 

The winner of the competition, determined in an “America’s Got Talent” mobile-voting format by luncheon attendees, was Cathy Mott, president and CEO of CWC Leadership Development. The other two finalists were Amy C. Waninger, founder and CEO of Lead At Any Level; and Caitie Gehlhausen, CEO of Lock-It. The grand prize was $2,500; the other finalists won $1,000. The sponsors of the competition were Dow and CBI.

In addition to participating in the pitch competition, Saifuddin conducted a workshop on “Demystifying Analytics.” 

The attendees ranged from solopreneurs to large corporates. Saifuddin shared with the session attendees the Innovative Solution Partners roadmap on how to demystify analytics, which highlights how to connect the dots between people, operations, and technology.

“You cannot become a data-driven company without looking at all three components,” said Saifuddin. “The purpose of the workshop was not to focus on the technology, but addresses the needs of businesses not knowing where to start, how to deal with growing amounts of data while ensuring accuracy, and tips to be successful.”

The conference included coaching labs, educational workshops and one-on-one match sessions between business owners and corporate representatives.

Read more about the conference and the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council here.

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